Is there anything better than a reading a good book?
If you’re an avid reader, it feels so good to slip into a new story, but motherhood can really put reading back on the shelf, so to speak. My own ability to read for fun took a disastrous hit in college, and truthfully, it still comes and goes. Sometimes I dive right into a good book and sometimes I can go months without picking one up. It’s hard with a two year old who occupies all of my time!
I love being able to access our public library system and we are so fortunate to have books to borrow. My daughter has a compromised immune system so sometimes I worry about being in a public space that can lead to more germ exposure. Also, toddlers and books? Books are made with paper; toddlers LOVE to rip paper! However, we make small, quick trips in and out because it’s worth it.
Lead by Example
I have started to try to put my phone down more often and pick up a book instead. I let the laundry sit an extra chunk of time; it’s not likely that it’ll get up and walk away! I want to lead by example with reading. My daughter watches my actions. If she can see mama reading, I’m hoping it will help influence her to also pick up books. Even if she’s playing and doesn’t quite understand the concept of reading yet, she’s still gathering info on what I’m doing, and where my focus is at.
As a former teacher, you’d think I would be the one to read the majority of books or stories to my daughter, but I’m not. My husband is. It’s a fantastic evening routine for them. Plus, she has more luck getting him to say yes to “one more book” than she would from me. I love that they have special bonding time together.
I do make sure that she has books in the car where she can reach at any time while we run errands. Our home has a great collection of books for her to read through, most of them gifts. I LOVE that the people around her are helping us cultivate her reading habits. I encourage her to read to the dog when she plays. He’s not so much a fan of Dr. Seuss but he handles the farm animal board book well.
Daily Reading Skills
We are not starting any formal preschool programming at home yet but I try to pick new activities based on letters and reading. Even letting her scribble in a coloring book is a great way to practice literacy skills. Magnet ABCs on the fridge are a hit, and she actually learned her ABCs from a workout class we go to together. I think all of these small, day-to-day activities are helping foster what I hope will be a lifelong love of reading.
I’ve heard the quote “Readers are leaders” and, in this digital age, I want to teach my daughter how to stick with a medium and tradition that has survived hundreds years. I hope she develops a love of reading, and that that reading aids her in her future leadership roles. All of that starts now. While she’s little.